I have a raspberry running headless (no monitor nor TV) I have some programs that need X11 environment to start (but for nothing more) like for instance a midi sampler.

I tried forwarding the X11 via SSH and it works like a charm. But I want to run those scripts by themselves heedlessly.

Is it possible to fool the system and pretend that there is a screen available?

  • Cross-posted: raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/questions/14370/… It's good that you proactively migrated this yourself, since waiting for a moderator to do it would take an indeterminate (and potentially infinite...) amount of time, but if you leave a question on two sites you should include a link to the other on both. This way people will not waste time giving you an answer in one place when you've already found one somewhere else. Looking for a CLI midi sampler would probably be a better solution, BTW.
    – goldilocks
    Mar 11, 2014 at 15:15

2 Answers 2


Have a look at the Xvfb server.

You can install it with apt-get install xvfb.

For an example see https://superuser.com/questions/524811/how-can-i-run-lightdm-on-xvfb-on-a-raspberrypi


I use Xvnc to run programs on my server from my crontab¹.

During final testing of the programs that I run from crontab, this allows me to connect using the VNC viewer and as soon as everything works without input, I know they will from the crontab as well.

¹ I am running a program driven web browser.

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